Are the Houston Texans ‘desperate’ for a quarterback in ’22?

Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

Do the Houston Texans need a long-term answer at quarterback?

There are many in the NFL media and some fans who believe the Houston Texans don’t have their long-term answer at quarterback currently on the roster, but is that really the case?

The quarterbacks currently on the roster are Davis Mills — who will be entering his second season — along with Deshaun Watson, but he’s most likely not going to be on the roster as he was held out of every game in ’21 due to his legal issues and by his own doing of not wanting to be a member of the franchise anymore. Tyrod Taylor was also on the team in ’21, but he’s a pending free agent this offseason.

Basically that leaves Mills as the lone quarterback that has a chance to be the starting quarterback for the Houston Texans in ’22 who is currently with the franchise. In his first stint as the starter — when Taylor was injured in Week 2 —  during his rookie season Mills wasn’t great, and the results showed as he was 0-6 in his first six starts in that span before Taylor returned.

After some subpar play by Taylor that caused him to be benched by now-former head coach David Culley, Mills returned as the starter, and that’s when his career trajectory changed and he showcased his skill-set as he finished the final five starts of the season with passing totals of 331 yards, 209 yards, 254 yards, 163 yards and 301 yards.

Also in those games, his touchdown total was a combined nine TD passes, including three games of at least two touchdown passes in those five starts. Mills in the season finale threw for three touchdown passes against the AFC South champion Tennessee Titans, as that game he had the stat line of 23-of-33 for 301 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Speaking of interceptions and improvement, Mills had just two interceptions in the final five starts.

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Are the Houston Texans “desperate for a quarterback” in ’22?

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports gave a list of teams that are desperate for a quarterback, and with the Texans being on that list here were his opinions on Mills for ’22:

"“Davis Mills intrigues me. Not enough to not still be looking for other developmental passers, but enough not to chase one of these free agents or lock myself into taking a QB in the top rounds this spring. There is some clay to mold there …”"

Mills shouldn’t be handed the starter’s job automatically in ’22, but going into this offseason, and when mini camps and training camp eventually arrive he deserves to be the top choice, but he needs to have a quarterback battle to put him under pressure and battle for that starting position.

What is most exciting for Mills’ potential in ’22 is he gets Pep Hamilton as his offensive coordinator, as Tim Kelly wasn’t retained at that position after two seasons when Lovie Smith was selected as the new head coach.

The offense will be new, be called in-game differently and hopefully will be more creative, meaning this could help the career of Mills move up a couple steps in his career in year two after being a third-round pick in ’21.

Mills has the skill-set to become the top starter for the Houston Texans in ’21, but the Texans need to bring in a veteran quarterback to put the pressure on him and to have a backup plan as Mills was sacked a total of 31 times in 13 games, with 11 of those games being starts. Five times in ’21 he was sacked three or more times in games, but in the aforementioned final five starts of ’21 he was sacked three or more times in a game just once.

The feeling here is the Texans aren’t “desperate” so to speak for a quarterback, but they need to leave no stone unturned and make sure they have 100-percent belief in Mills, because the quarterback is the main part of any offense, and for the Texans to become more than a four-win team — which is what they’ve been for the past two seasons — being secure at quarterback is a main priority moving forward.

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Mills has a big opportunity in front of him, and a lot of change is happening with the Houston Texans. This is an exciting time for the franchise, and the overall feeling is the Texans aren’t “desperate” for a quarterback for the ’22 season.